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Case study: The Galleries
As the flagship project for UAE developer Limitless, the Galleries is a mixed-use scheme in Dubai containing Grade-A office, housing and retail space. Since last month, all four towers in the Galleries Offices Buildings are open, with 70% of the 800,000m2 space already leased. Certified LEED Silver, the scheme consists of two groups of buildings, separated by a 20,000m2 landscaped plaza. The towers rise from a common podium known as The Gallery.
Located on the edge of Urban Centre Zone 1 of Downtown Jebel Ali, the Galleries sits next to the Jebel Ali metro station. With green grounds, shaded seating areas, and fish ponds, each building has a mini version of the central plaza, for activities during cooler weather. Bahaa Abouhatab, head of projects, UAE, Limitless, adds: “The original plan was to build a central plaza from the metro to the main building. As Limitless still wanted to encourage use of the metro, they built a shaded walkway leading to the building, which is about 200m.”
Abouhatab explains the concept of the office component. “We are keen on creating a business hub that will serve mostly international companies. However, we did not think of it just as a business building – we thought of it as an environment to serve the clients throughout the day. It’s not just designed for working, it considers the need for entertaining and taking breaks. In terms of the design itself, it is extremely efficient – the depth of the floor plate allows natural light throughout the day, reducing the requirements to artificially light the offices. It is certainly a Grade-A building, in terms of the way it functions and the quality of materials used.”
Lobbies are designed with dramatic 18m-high ceilings and with natural materials such as wood panelling and polished granite. An interconnected glass and metal façade spans approximately a quarter mile length across the four buildings, creating the effect of one horizontal tower.The completed office towers contain water-efficient toilet cisterns and tap heads that cut water consumption by up to 30%. Energy consumption is reduced as energy efficient light fittings and movement sensors are installed in all lobby areas The high- performance glass façades allow optimal natural light in, but keep heat out.
Architect: Burt Hill
Location: Downtown Jebel Ali, Dubai